January 6, 2021: Democracy’s last stand
There remain two paths to overturning "the election crime of the century;" however, both paths are narrow and will require Republican office holders to show why they are entitled to hold office.
When the Electoral College votes were cast on December 14th, several States were still investigating serious allegations of election fraud. So serious, that some States forwarded alternate slates of Electors to the Electoral College. "Dueling votes."
When the 117th Congress convenes in Joint Session on January 6th, Republican House and Senate members have an opportunity to challenge the validity of the Biden-Harris votes in the Electoral College. Such challenges are not new. On January 6th, 2001, and 2005, Democrats tried to overturn the elections of President G.W. Bush. In 2017, Democrats tried the same with President Donald J. Trump.
Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled legislatures in the fraud-laced contested States could call themselves into Special Session to denounce the slates achieved by fraud, and endorse the slates determined to be elected by legal means. But will the GOP-controlled legislatures have the needed political testosterone to do so?
On January 6, 2021, Congress will be composed of members elected on November 3, 2020. Win or lose the runoff election in Georgia, Senators Perdue and Loeffler will be eligible to vote.
At 1:00 p.m. on January 6th, Congress assembles in the House Chamber with Senate President Mike Pence in charge. Starting with Alabama, the votes will be counted and announced. When the process reaches a contested State, a GOP member of the House and a GOP member of the Senate could co-sponsor a Motion challenging the validity of the Electoral College votes. But, without a sponsor from both chambers, the Motion is not in order and fails.
If, the Motion is in order and seconded, the Joint Session divides into separate chambers to debate and vote on the Motion. The debate is limited to two hours. If the Motion succeeds, it goes back to the Joint Session for consideration.
The Republican objective would be to disqualify enough Biden-Harris votes so Biden-Harris cannot reach the magic number of 270 valid Electoral College votes. If the Republicans succeed, the Electoral College fails, causing the election of a President and a Vice President to be determined by "contingent election," meaning the House elects the President and the Senate elects a Vice President.
In the House, each State gets one vote. The party with the larger partisan congressional delegation casts the vote, meaning the Republicans cast 26 votes and the Democrats cast 21 votes. Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania are tied. The Senate, by individual member vote, elects a Vice President.
For Trump-Pence supporters, there is, however, a big problem: Majority Leader Senator McConnell told his caucus not to author or co-author any objections. But strong constitutionalist Senators such as Lee, Cruz, Paul, Cotton, Hawley, Fisher or Tuberville might ignore McConnell and honor their oath to defend the Constitution.
But this observer is not hopeful. I am reminded of British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey who, on the eve of World War I, said: "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our life-time."
Suggested reading: "How the Electoral College Votes and How the Votes Are Counted," by Mark Strand and Timothy Lang, The Congressional Institute, December 14, 2020. The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, a www.270toWin.com.
©2020. William Hamilton.